This song is for Pete Seeger and the Water Protectors, b/c our job is not now, nor will it ever be over.

A few years ago I had the opportunity to attend a Clearwater meeting w one of our Great Water Protectors here in the Hudson Valley – Pete Seeger. He asked us to write a song that everybody could sing.

I have lived here my entire life. I know this valley, its waters, its lands, its animals and its people.

Traveling home down the winding Rt 9, the old narrow road snaked thru the mountains and gazed down at the Hudson River, I wrote this song. This song is for Pete Seeger and the Water Protectors, b/c our job is not now, nor will it ever be over.

Back to the River

let’s go back to the river so we can swim

let’s go back to the river so we can drink

let’s go back to the river so we can sail away on the Clearwater on a clear day

back to our valley and our trees

back to the organic gardens and the bees

back to the healthy land under our feet

the land that was made for you and me

let’s give the mountain back to the bear

let’s give the clean back to the air

let’s give the fresh back to water in our streams

the streams that were made for you and me

let’s give life back to the land

let’s give work back to our hands

let’s give hope back to the words that we sing

the songs that are sung by you and me

let’s put love back in our speech

let’s put promise back in our reach

we will live in harmony

with this land that was made for you and me

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Posted in Good Words, Original Songs, Poetry with Melody, Political & Random Rantings | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Last Waltz – 40 years in Frisco

This is for those who have watched or listened to The Last Waltz up into the triple digits. Those who know every player by name, by album, by instrument, and by history.

The Last Waltz to me is the musical equivalent of fuzzy socks, a warm fire in a log cabin, and an endless glass of whiskey.

Fever in my chest

Ol Frisco fever night

Before the Flood

Starry night

Read your Testimony in the Northern Lights

 

Weight of Ages

Southern Sages

The Night they Drove Old Dixie’s mages

Feast Thanksgiving’s theater graces

on The Last Waltz plates

Testimony’s pages

 

I kneel beneath

Southern cross

I walk the line

to find lost voice

 

I testify

Fat mamma rag

Lead basement floor

The Last Waltz tap dance

 

Down the river drown

Mississippi Queen

Sing your river hymn

Forgiven Testimony

 

Clink your glasses stomp your feet

40 years Thanksgiving Anniversary treat

 

The Last Waltz

Time Machine

Penny to ride

Take a load for free

Robbie throw me the keys

 

Swamp fog rhythms

Done lay their hands on me

Good ol night

Lead weight hayride

Frisco summer daydream

 

I waltz with you

Under Winterland stars

Northern light sky above

Ring your bell echo heart

 

Testimony

Mississippi Queen

I wrote our history down

in a Big Pink hedonistic dream

 

Before the flood

Swamp mist troubadour

Evangeline done broke my

Cripple fever heart

 

The night they drove old dixie down

I hung my head with lead weight crown

Cracked rung rusted wedding bells

Cold feet

Stage fright

Chest fever swells

 

Follow you down

Drown in the flood

Big mamma gonna keep you

Forever young

Posted in Classic Song Covers, Good Words, Poetry with Melody | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cover of Bob Dylan’s Visions of Johanna

This is by far one of my favorite Dylan songs, from one of my favorite albums, Blonde on Blonde. It is transportive, dreamlike, hallucinatory & entrancing. If you listen to this song with your eyes closed on a rainy afternoon, it is like being waltzed down the Seine at 4am by Dylan himself. In said dream I wear my hair down & it blows in the cool breeze off the water. The last of the late night crowd is drifting home. I hear an inexplicable lone saxophone wail entwined with the mist of the early morning.  I can smell fresh bread from the boulangerie as the city awakens.

Visions of Johanna cover video link

Ain’t it just like the night to play tricks when you’re tryin’ to be so quiet?
We sit here stranded, though we’re all doin’ our best to deny it
And louise holds a handful of rain, temptin’ you to defy it
Lights flicker from the opposite loft
In this room the heat pipes just cough
The country music station plays soft
But there’s nothing, really nothing to turn off
Just louise and her lover so entwined
And these visions of johanna that conquer my mind

In the empty lot where the ladies play blindman’s bluff with the key chain
And the all-night girls they whisper of escapades out on the d train
We can hear the night watchman click his flashlight
Ask himself if it’s him or them that’s really insane
Louise, she’s all right, she’s just near
She’s delicate and seems like the mirror
But she just makes it all too concise and too clear
That johanna’s not here
The ghost of ‘lectricity howls in the bones of her face
Where these visions of johanna have now taken my place

Now, little boy lost, he takes himself so seriously
He brags of his misery, he likes to live dangerously
And when bringing her name up
He speaks of a farewell kiss to me
He’s sure got a lotta gall to be so useless and all
Muttering small talk at the wall while I’m in the hall
How can I explain?
Oh, it’s so hard to get on
And these visions of johanna, they kept me up past the dawn

Inside the museums, infinity goes up on trial
Voices echo this is what salvation must be like after a while
But mona lisa musta had the highway blues
You can tell by the way she smiles
See the primitive wallflower freeze
When the jelly-faced women all sneeze
Hear the one with the mustache say, jeeze
I can’t find my knees
Oh, jewels and binoculars hang from the head of the mule
But these visions of johanna, they make it all seem so cruel

The peddler now speaks to the countess who’s pretending to care for him
Sayin’, name me someone that’s not a parasite and I’ll go out and say a prayer for him
But like louise always says
Ya can’t look at much, can ya man?
As she, herself, prepares for him
And madonna, she still has not showed
We see this empty cage now corrode
Where her cape of the stage once had flowed
The fiddler, he now steps to the road
He writes ev’rything’s been returned which was owed
On the back of the fish truck that loads
While my conscience explodes
The harmonicas play the skeleton keys and the rain
And these visions of johanna are now all that remain

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Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues – Folk Rock Rap Reinvented for Apathetic Times

Johnny’s in the basement
Mixing up the medicine
I’m on the pavement
Thinking about the government
The man in the trench coat
Badge out, laid off
Says he’s got a bad cough
Wants to get it paid off
Look out kid
It’s somethin’ you did
God knows when
But you’re doing it again
You better duck down the alleyway
Lookin’ for a new friend
The man in the coonskin cap, in the big pen
Wants eleven dollar bills but you only got ten
Maggie comes fleet foot
Face full of black soot
Talkin’ that the heat put
Plants in the bed but
The phone’s tapped anyway
Maggie says that many say
They must bust in early May
Orders from the D.A. look out kid
Don’t matter what you did
Walk on your tip toes
Don’t try “No Doz”
Better stay away from those
That carry around a fire hose
Keep a clean nose
Watch the plain clothes
You don’t need a weather man
To know which way the wind blows
Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin’ to sell
Try hard, get barred
Get back, write braille
Get jailed, jump bail
Join the army, if you fail
Look out kid
You’re gonna get hit
But losers, cheaters
Six-time users
Hang around the theaters
Girl by the whirlpool
Lookin’ for a new fool
Don’t follow leaders, watch the parkin’ meters
Ah get born, keep warm
Short pants, romance, learn to dance
Get dressed, get blessed
Try to be a success
Please her, please him, buy gifts
Don’t steal, don’t lift
Twenty years of schoolin’
And they put you on the day shift
Look out kid
They keep it all hid
Better jump down a manhole
Light yourself a candle
Don’t wear sandals
Try to avoid the scandals
Don’t want to be a bum
You better chew gum
The pump don’t work
‘Cause the vandals took the handles
Posted in Classic Song Covers, Poetry with Melody | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Bob Dylan – Our Poet’s Poet – Nobel Prize in Literature

Bob Dylan is the first singer/songwriter to win the Nobel Prize in Literature

This is my tribute to his  legacy. Subterranean Homesick Blues – the first music video

Iconic Dylan Tribute- Over-Mapping I

swinging on by picking up the medicine

my jawn’s fallen on down right past regret again

all is lost this squaredance recast broken in now and the past’s the past

out here the blood and fat is all the rage

as we stumble fret tripping tumble bellies rumble life ain’t worth nuthin but a grumble

out on our fabricated stage

over mapping and over lapping

this life and times has got our boots to tapping

hey there’s a long and lonesome road

what say we don’t walk on alone

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Velvet Armchair Blues

Velvet Armchair Blues video link

Got these velvet armchair blues

Forgotten heavy step behind and yesterday’s news

I read alone these tired pages

Watch me walk slow and low these heavy days

Cigarette butts and tired fingertips

I’ve just got these torn words on my lips

help me smile tonight

Tell me have I spoken these words right

This room is so full of the echo of my past

I wonder who this bell is ringing for

With no trust I speak with no words

This hourglass sand that fills my mouth is my curse

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Where do you find your song? Will the holes in your pockets leave you all alone?

Brick man rust red

Out on the street newspaper in his head

Full of words like railroad tracks

They pile up in numbered stacks

When the gypsy lady drowns out on her sinking ship

With the name of the dead man still tattooed on her lips

Let the wind whistle on her howling song

Will the lost words leave you all alone

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Poor Man’s Wife

Handing out and around poor man put your books away

with no teeth how can you eat today

Lend me just one minute of your toothless smile

step off this street-corner and give me just a minute of your time

I see your street that you call home

If I stand back I can hear the streetcar moan

The steam from the street has left me blind

As I stutter here I’ve been left behind

With the wise words that you preach

your written knowledge and toothless speech

I don’t wanna be a poor man’s wife

but you’ve offered me your brick-house and your life

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A Ruder Form of Love

A ruder form of love held in the jaw unspoken

Don’t come near to me my jaw is broken

I left my calcified heart out by the roadside

Somewhere out under the petrified sun

The dark black mud pushes by in the river

It carries lost homes and bits of life away

It leaves everything left unspoken

It leaves the sun set on one more day

I left my heart deep and lost in the river

I won’t go back now I got nothing to find

Meet met out there lost and down by the river

Call to me across the empty night

With time so long I walk my own footsteps

This dirt path will never lead me right

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Mad Dogs

Mad Dogs – video link

Mapped out the long tragedy down

I been dressed up a little clownish

words no mouth spoke

vows no hand agreed to wrote

this road only the dead walked

here here again here again

hand onto me all your regrets

i’ve got a staked claim here my home

two feet deep the river nile caught the cold night denial

somebody said come on in

here we dance and here we stand

one lost general lost command

Hand onto me your disbelief

Come on up and give it up

I’ll keep it with mine

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